GSWA's Across the Watershed...In Brief
February 2014
A river seems a magic thing. A magic,
moving, living part of the very earth itself.

--From The Rio Grande (1949) by
U.S. photographer Laura Gilpin (1891-1979)

Coming Soon! Upper Passaic Report
Logo of the Great Swamp Watershed Association

The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) recently completed a three-year study of the water quality in the Upper Passaic River. The Upper Passaic is one of the five major tributary streams feeding New Jersey's Great Swamp. Its waters flow through Mendham Township, Mendham Borough, Bernardsville Borough, Harding Township, Bernards Township, and Long Hill Township.

Keep an eye out for our final water quality report on the Upper Passaic coming this spring. The document will be published on our website at Please monitor future editions of this e-newsletter for a publication announcement.

The organization's next water quality study will focus two different watershed streams: Black Brook and Primrose Brook. Black Brook flows from the northeast to the southwest through Chatham Township, Long Hill Township, and Harding Township. Primrose Brook flows from the north to the south. It begins in a small corner of Mendham Township and then passes through Harding Township before ending inside the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Watershed Moments
Advocacy Update

GSWA is closely monitoring new proposals for land development currently under review by the planning boards in Long Hill Township and Bernardsville Borough.

Long Hill Township

In Long Hill, Restore Meyersville LLC has submitted an application to build a new indoor volleyball facility on property located at 596 Meyersville Road near the Meyersville traffic circle. The property, which once housed a business known as Archie's Resale, stands adjacent to a portion of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  GSWA has participated in several planning board meetings, and questioned the applicant and his experts.  The site is contaminated with asbestos and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  Under the proposed development plan, these pollutants will be cleaned up under the oversight of a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP).  The same plan will reduce the amount of impervious surface coverage at the site by almost 10%.  In turn, this may lead to a reduction in the amount of stormwater runoff flowing away from the property which will benefit the local environment.

Bernardsville Borough

Credit: S. Reynolds
Proposed site for construction of a new TD Bank building along Morristown Road in Bernardsville, NJ. Credit: S. Reynolds
In Bernardsville, TD Bank has filed a proposal and requested variances to construct a new bank building, drive-thru lanes, and a parking area on vacant land along Morristown Road (U.S. Route 202) between Weichert Realtors and the retail shops at Bernardsville Centre.  (The planning board has not yet determined that the application is complete.)

Nearby Penns Brook has already suffered serious damage as a result of the stormwater runoff emanating from existing building complexes in the area.  Erosion along the brook is extensive.  Water testing reveals unusually high nitrate levels.  Road salt is routinely detected at levels in excess of state water quality standards.

As proposals for new construction along this stretch of Morristown Road have proliferated, GSWA has stepped in repeatedly to represent environmental interests and protect Penns Brook from additional harm.

In 2006, the organization cited concerns over...Continue Reading.

Want to read the rest of the article? Click here to find it on our blog site.
Please Join Us!
Water, Wine, n' Chocolate -- Valentine's Day Edition -- February 19

Please remember to join us on Wednesday, February 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., for our second tasting event featuring fine wines, gourmet cheeses, and decadent chocolates--all free, but you must bring at least one friend. (Sweethearts welcome.)

Click here to register right now!

The evening's fun won't stop with the food and drink. GSWA's Director of Water Quality Programs, Laura Kelm, will be on hand to entertain guests with a fun game about New Jersey's Great Swamp waters. Prizes will be awarded!

This event will take place at GSWA's headquarters located at 568 Tempe Wick Road in Morristown, New Jersey. Registration is required.
In Case You Missed It...
TD Bank Wants To Build In Bernardsville

From The Bernardsville News: TD Bank has filed plans with the Borough's Planning Board proposing new construction at a site located on the southbound side of Route 202 (Morristown Road) between Bernardsville Centre and Weichert Realtors. Development in this area would impact nearby Penns Brook, a tributary stream that feeds water into the Upper Passaic River and the Great Swamp. Read the Article

NJ Pinelands Commission Rejects Pipeline

From AP via On January 10, the New Jersey Pinelands Commission rejected a plan by South Jersey Gas to build a 22-mile natural gas pipeline through the state's sensitive Pinelands region. Read the Article

Extreme Cold May, May Not, Slow NJ's Southern Pine Beetle Invasion

From NY Times: This article, written on January 8 by Lisa W. Foderaro, speculates on the fate of invasive insect species as they face the recent spate of unusually cold weather. Included is a section about the possible effects of "lethal temperatures" on the population of Southern Pine Beetles currently threatening the health and integrity of New Jersey's Pinelands region. Read the Article

Did You Know?
Unsung Masters of Flight
By Jim Northrop, GSWA Volunteer

Credit: (Don DeBold).
Formation of Canada Geese. Credit: (Don DeBold).
The other day I was walking in a local parking lot, when I heard a persistent honking in the sky. It was getting louder and louder. When I looked skyward, I saw a flight of large birds ---- perhaps 50 or 75 of them, passing overhead. What was most striking was not their quantity, but that they were arranged in a loose "V" formation. "Ah, Canada geese," I said to myself.

Later, I was thinking about the beauty of that formation of Canada geese. I wondered why we normally see them flying in a "V" formation, so I decided to do a little research. Let me share with you what I learned.

The Canada goose (Branta canadensis) species is native to North America. It breeds in Canada and in the northern United States in a variety of habitats. Annually, the geese migrate south from Canada and the Great Lakes region, for the winter. In the spring, they return north. These annual migrations require them to be able to fly great distances.

The flight in "V" formation has been studied by various researchers. It appears that birds take turns in the lead position of the "V," since flying in front consumes the most energy. Meanwhile, all the other birds in formation will position themselves in spots that are aerodynamically optimal ---- spots where they can take advantage of the swirls of upward moving air generated by the wing beats of the bird ahead.

Those swirls are very important...Continue Reading.

Want to read the rest of the story? Click here to find it on our blog site.
In This Issue
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Upcoming Events
Water, Wine, n' Chocolate, 2/19

5:30PM to 7:30PM. Bring a friend to GSWA's next wine tasting social in honor of Valentine's Day. This time around we will feature gourmet cheese and chocolate samples as well as our assortment of fine wines. GSWA's Laura Kelm has also invented a new Great-Swamp-themed game that will entertain and challenge your wits. Prizes will be awarded!
Learn more here!
Nature Detectives Hike at the Refuge, 2/22

10AM to Noon. Become Mother Nature's next superstar sleuth! Gumshoe around the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge with GSWA's Hazel England, and learn how to spot some of New Jersey's most wanted wildlife. This hike will take place at the Wildlife Observation Center off Long Hill Road in New Vernon, NJ.
Learn more here!
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Great Swamp Watershed Association
Protecting our waters and our land for more than 30 years
Street Address: 568 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown, NJ  07960 - Map It!
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 300, New Vernon, NJ  07976
For more than 30 years, the Great Swamp Watershed Association has been dedicated to protecting and improving water resources New Jersey's Great Swamp Watershed region. We do this by monitoring and maintaining streams and open space, advocating for intelligent land use and environmental policy, and educating communities about water and its effect on the health and natural beauty of the local environment.

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